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Case Studies by Luk Van Wassenhove

114 case studies

by Title
published: 18 Sep 2008

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Trimmings (textile, garment)
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case describes how AMF Snaps, a supplier of fastenings for the premium clothes market, has risen to become one of Europe's leading and most innovative snaps companies. From the first collection in 1996, designed by founder Andreas Faerber with the help of some friends using simple computer graphic tools, by 2007 the workforce had increased from four people to 70, with annual sales of 50 million snaps. Unwavering in his belief that the relationship with the customer is key to success, in 2007 Faerber was faced with a dilemma. Survey results revealed a gap between what employees perceived to be the company’s strong points and what its clients considered them to be. It also uncovered a weak point in the snap supplying process: the outsourced manufacturing of the snaps. .

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case considers the trade-off between operating with a network of subcontractors and acquiring non-core assets to improve supply chain integration. Having no constraints on the manufacturing side has allowed the company to be more creative than its competitors, which fashionmakers value highly. But the unreliability of the electroplating part of the production network may jeopardise its position as a key supplier to Europe?s big fashion brands. Students analyse the options available to improve the reliability and responsiveness of the whole value chain (acquisition, joint-venture, long-term collaboration) and justify the strategy chosen taking into account the elements that have historically made AMF so successful.

Keywords:
Innovation, Textile Industry, Supply Chain, Vertical Integration, Design

published: 01 Dec 1997

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Consulting
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case is one in a series of seven cases on the practice of operational research. It describes the process of carrying out a project for a client (as opposed to the tools and techniques used as is customary for OR cases). A subset of the seven cases will give students a good feel for the intricacies of being an OR consultant/professional.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Teaching materials in Operational Research typically concentrate on tools and techniques for optimization assuming the problem is given and well-defined. This case (and its six little brothers) provides a rich view on how a practitioner actually goes about acquiring projects, framing the problem, building a relation with the client, constructing a solution and finally implementing it. In short, the cases allow the students to get a feel for the process (context) rather than the context (techniques).

Keywords:
Or Practice, Process of Or, Sme (consulting), Project Management, Strategy

published: 27 Mar 2009

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Transport and Logistics/ Humanitarian Sector
  • Region: Middle-East

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Abstract:
Agility is a global logistics provider, based in Kuwait. In 2006, it reorganized and joined the ranks of the top ten global logistics providers worldwide. Following this reorganization, CEO Tarek Sultan took the initiative to give greater definition to his company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) profile. Shortly after his first company-wide statement, humanitarian crisis emerges in Lebanon. Urged on by its employees from the region, including the 120 employees and company office located in Lebanon, the company reaches out to assist the international humanitarian relief effort. The case chronicles the unique position of this global company as a humanitarian partner. Agility’s assets build on its position as an emerging market multinational, and the unique assets of its employees from the regions. Leveraging those assets, Agility offers its services in partnership with the international humanitarian relief effort in Lebanon.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Discuss the design and implementation of a corporate social responsibility program for a global company.

Keywords:
Humanitarian, Corporate Social Responsibility, Disaster, Emergency, Public Private Partnership, Lebanon, Middle East, Red Cross and Red Crescent, Adec

Prizes won:
- Winner of 2010 EFMD Case Writing Competition Award, Corporate Social Responsibility Category

published: 31 Oct 2011

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Energy
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
The announcement that BP PLC, the world's third-largest oil firm, was going "beyond petroleum" generated scepticism from news media, indifference from investors, and outraged opposition from environmentalists in 2000. When BP's Alaska employees raised safety and environmental concerns in 2002, stakeholder groups, news media and regulators were drawn into the conflict.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case demonstrates how the dynamics of stakeholder activism and influence have changed as a consequence of the emergence of stakeholder-controlled media. These follow different rules and objectives from conventional news media, and their influence on management strategies may be decisive. Participants should gain awareness of the operating principles of these new forces, and how they impact corporate social responsibility in particular.

Keywords:
Bp, Beyond Petroleum, Greenpeace, Financial Times, Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmentalism, Climate Change, Corporate Governance, Board Process and Remuneration at the Top

Related:

published: 31 Oct 2011

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Energy
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
The announcement that BP PLC, the world's third-largest oil firm, was going "beyond petroleum" generated scepticism from news media, indifference from investors, and outraged opposition from environmentalists in 2000. When BP's Alaska employees raised safety and environmental concerns in 2002, stakeholder groups, news media and regulators were drawn into the conflict.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case demonstrates how the dynamics of stakeholder activism and influence have changed as a consequence of the emergence of stakeholder-controlled media. These follow different rules and objectives from conventional news media, and their influence on management strategies may be decisive. Participants should gain awareness of the operating principles of these new forces, and how they impact corporate social responsibility in particular.

Keywords:
Bp, Beyond Petroleum, Greenpeace, Financial Times, Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmentalism, Climate Change, Corporate Governance, Board Process and Remuneration at the Top

Related:

published: 30 Sep 2002

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Personal Computers
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
In order to deal with volatility in demand and uncertainty in supply, NEC-Computers International (NEC-CI) instituted a demand and supply balancing process. The main objective of this process was to minimize losses due to mismatch in demand and supply. This required efficient management of new products introduction and phase-out of end-of-life products, quick decisions on how to dispose off obsolete parts and agreement on action plans to deal with supply shortages and excess material. The case describes how NEC-CI conducts this process and raises issues in managing this process.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Understanding the importance of matching demand and supply in fast clock speed industries and using an example of how one company has tackled this issue, making students understand the complexities and tradeoffs involved in managing this process.

Keywords:
Supply Chain Management, Demand and Supply Balancing, Computer Industry

published: 01 Jan 1994

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Steel card (for reinforcing rubber tires)
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
Born amidst a crisis, a 12 year old Total Quality Management effort at Bekaert, a European multi-national, resulted in changes to corporate philosophy and R&D management. It also introduced SPC, continuous improvement and production cells for knowledge creation in the factories. These led to two major European quality awards.

Pedagogical Objectives:
It demonstrates the difficulties of institutionalising TQM at the factory and corporate levels It raises issues of the nature of top management commitment, the need for internally consistent systems, the importance of human resource management, the explicit management of process knowledge and the changing nature of R&D It introduces the EFQM Quality Award criteria

published: 25 Jun 2012

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Logistics
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
Agility has deployed its logistics expertise and capacities in over 20 disaster relief operations. During the last four years, the corporate CSR team has set up and constantly adapted Agility’s disaster relief programme. It is based on three main pillars: (1) improving Agility’s capacities for the Humanitarian & Emergency Logistics Programme and creating internal support structures, (2) fostering bilateral partnerships with humanitarian organizations, and (3) reinforcing collaboration with the Logistics Emergency Teams. Catching up with the latest relief operation, Frank Clary, Senior Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility, reflects on the company’s learning journey.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case lays the foundation for a discussion of corporate disaster relief operations and their embeddedness in a broader corporate social responsibility strategy. Teaching topics can include: structuring CSR activities and integrating a disaster relief programme into a broader CSR strategy, the role of a corporate CSR team in supporting a disaster relief programme, managing bilateral cross-sector partnerships and multi-company, integrative partnerships, as well as analyzing CSR-related learning processes.

Keywords:
Corporate Social Responsibility, Disaster Relief, Cross-Sector Partnerships, Learning, Humanitarian Relief, Structuring Csr

published: 12 Jan 1997

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Consulting
  • Region: Europe

Show details ...

Abstract:
The case is one in a series of seven cases on the practice of operational research. It describes the process of carrying out a project for a client (as opposed to the tools and techniques used as is customary for OR cases). A subset of the seven cases will give students a good feel for the intricacies of being an OR consultant/professional.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Teaching materials in Operational Research typically concentrate on tools and techniques for optimization assuming the problem is given and well-defined. This case (and its six little brothers) provides a rich view on how a practitioner actually goes about acquiring projects, framing the problem, building a relation with the client, constructing a solution and finally implementing it. In short, the cases allow the students to get a feel for the process (context) rather than the context (techniques).

Keywords:
Or Practice, Process of Or, Sme (consulting), Project Management, Strategy

published: 01 Nov 2006

  • Topic: Economics & Finance
  • Industry: Insurance Industry and Humanitarian sector
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
The case narrates the process of testing the concept of weather derivatives in developing countries. It describes why the World Food Programme chose Ethiopia as the pilot case and the process that led to the selection of AXA Re, the giant insurance company

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case helps discuss the contribution of the financial sector to a more equitable, timely and efficient response to humanitarian disasters. It touches upon the importance of protecting development gains. It can also be used in finance courses as it provides a good example of risk aggregation and layering as well as new product development in the insurance industry.

Keywords:
Insurance, Disaster Management, World Food Programme, Disaster Funding, Axa Re, Development, Supply Chain Managment

Prizes won:
- Winner of 2007 EFMD Case Writing Competition, Public Sector Innovations Category

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